Posts tagged Brown Sheep Co
Swatching with Cotton Fine: A knitted sample of Tegna by Caitlin Hunter
Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine - Tegna Swatch-2.jpg

Swatching with Cotton Fine

A knitted sample of Tegna, by Caitlin Hunter

Here at Loom & Spindle, we’re proud omni-crafters! Passionately dabbling in all things fibre.

Today we’re taking a look at our first knitted swatch for Cotton Fine. Specifically, a sampler of Caitlin Hunter’s popular Tegna pattern.

We thought this light-weight summer style would be a good match for this sumptuous blend of Pima cotton and merino wool.

We knit the swatch to explore the interaction between gauge, knit fabric and fibre and assess the suitability of the yarn for a knitted project featuring lacework.

Below, we’ve included our notes on how we interpreted the pattern to become a swatch and our thoughts on the resulting fabric.

This ‘recipe’ is a great starting point if you want to have a go at swatching for your next knitting project.

P.S. At the end we’ve detailed the yardage required for all sizes should you wish to knit your own!

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine - Tegna Swatch-5.jpg


A knitted sample of Tegna by Caitlin Hunter, using Cotton Fine by Brown Sheep Co.


Knit a swatch in Cotton Fine to explore:

  • The fabric’s hand-feel at the resulting gauge

  • The suitability of Cotton Fine for lacework, and

  • Knitting garments in Cotton Fine


  • Casting on

  • Casting off

  • Knitting flat

  • Reading charts for lacework

  • Familiarity with decreasing, yarnovers, knitting through the back loop

  • Translating pattern instructions into swatch parameters


  • 3.25 mm (US 3) circular needles (we used Chiaogoo Spin Bamboo Interchangables)

  • Scissors

  • Tapestry needle




We focused on setting parameters for the piece and interpreting the pattern to accommodate the swatch.


  • Working with the patterns suggested gauge of 22 stitches over 10cm (4'') in stocking stitch and the stitch count for the lace repeat, we decided three lace repeats would provide a reasonable sample size and a visually balanced sample.

  • 60 stitches were required for the cast on.


  • Cast on: Long-tail method

  • Cast off: A tapestry needle to thread the yarn tail through live stitches


  • The pattern details the lace repeat both written (worked in the round) and as a chart.

  • We chose working with the chart as the visual aid was convenient when working the swatch flat.

  • We used stitch markers to define the beginning and end of each lace repeat.


  • As 3.25mm was the needle size suggested in the pattern, we thought this would be a good starting point to explore gauge.

  • Our swatch will be knit flat as noted above. Please note the Tegna pattern, as written, is worked in the round.



60 stitches were cast on using the long-tail method.


The lace repeat was worked flat until the end of the chart.


Approximately 10cm (4'') was knit in stocking stitch to complete the swatch.


The live stitches were secured by simply threading the yarn tail through the loops using a tapestry needle.


The swatch was soaked in a bath of cool water for around 5 minutes, the excess water pressed out using a towel. The swatch was then pinned out on a blocking matt, attention given to opening up the lacework and aligning the stiches that frame the lace detail.


The final measurements were:

  • 22 stitches over 10cm (4'')

  • 28 rows over 10cm (4'')

  • Overall dimensions, 20cm x 25cm (8'' x 10'')



Amazingly, we got gauge! When does that ever happen ;)

Though, it’s important to note that we worked the swatch flat. Working in the round could produce a slightly different row gauge.

Based on these results we’d go ahead and knit the garment on 3.25mm needles, monitoring row gauge and adjusting the body length in the stocking stitch section if necessary.

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine - Tegna Swatch-7.jpg


At this airy gauge, Cotton Fine has produced a soft drapey fabric with a smooth hand-feel.

The cotton/merino blend offers great stitch definition, the detail in the lace panel is clear and structural elements well defined.

The resulting texture is feminine and cool.

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine - Tegna Swatch-1.jpg


The lacework was intuitive and the pattern easy to follow. Using stitch markers definitely helped us track the lace repeats and catch those missed yarnovers!

Cotton Fine worked up nicely and we think it has great potential for light-weight knitted garments.

Tegna is an exciting introduction to both lacework and knitted garment construction and is highly recommended to anyone motivated to give it a try.


Tegna by Caitlin Hunter can be found on RAVELRY.
Knitting in Cotton Fine? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • X-Small - 4 Skeins

  • Small - 4 Skeins

  • Medium - 5 Skeins

  • Large - 6 Skeins

  • X-Large - 6 Skeins

  • 2X-Large - 6 Skeins

  • 3X-Large - 7 Skeins


More on Cotton Fine…


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Swatching with Cotton Fine: A woven Sampler in Plain-Weave
Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine Swatch at 10epi-14.jpg

Swatching with Cotton Fine

A woven Sampler in Plain-Weave

With the recent introduction of Cotton Fine to the Loom & Spindle yarn range, we’ve been excited to explore our new yarn.

Our first swatch is a woven sampler in plain-weave, woven at a sett of 40ends/10cm (10epi) on a rigid heddle loom.

Our aim was to explore the fabric’s hand-feel, interaction of colour and the effect of using a finishing technique to full the fabric and set the fibres.

We’ve detailed the project below to offer insight into our planning and methodology, and our thoughts on the resulting fabric. This recipe is a great starting point if you want to have a go at swatching for your next weaving project!

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine Swatch at 10epi-16.jpg


A woven sampler in plain-weave, woven at 40ends/10cm (10epi), using Cotton Fine By Brown Sheep Co.

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine Swatch at 10epi-3.jpg


Weave a plain-weave fabric in Cotton Fine to explore:

  • The fabric’s hand-feel at a sett of 40ends/10cm (10epi)

  • The interaction of colour when using three shades; and

  • The effect of using a finishing technique to full the fabric / set the fibre.


  • Calculating yardage

  • Warping a rigid heddle loom

  • Preparing the warp for weaving

  • Hem stitching, to secure the warp and weft

  • Balanced plain-weave




As the materials and tools were pre-established, planning was limited to determining an appropriate size for the sample, approximating the metreage required, and defining colour placement. 


It was determined that a sample size of 30cm x 45cm (12"x 18") would be sufficient to examine hand-feel, colour interaction and allow for any shrinkage that may occur during finishing.


  • Length of piece, 45cm + extra length for warping, 60cm (30cm each end)
    Total warp length, 105cm

  • Warp width, 30cm X No. warp ends at 40ends/10cm
    Total no. warp ends, 120

  • Metreage required for warp:

= No. warp ends x Total warp length
= 120 x 1.05m
= 12600cm or 126m


  • At 40ends/10cm, No. weft passes over 45cm = 180

  • Metreage required for weft:

= No. weft passes x Warp width
= 180 x 30cm
= 5400cm or 54m


  • Total metreage required

= Warp + Weft
= 126m + 54m
= 180m


  • The placement of colour was kept simple, the three colours being divided in blocks evenly across both warp and weft.

  • Warp, 40 ends per colour

  • Weft, 60 ends per colour (or 15cm of length, per colour)


  • These calculations tell us that at 196m per skein, one ball of Cotton Fine would be enough to make a sample of this size. 

  • As the plan was to use three colours in equal quantities in this piece, we divided the total metreage by three to determine the amount for each colour, 180m divided by 3 = 60m per colour.



The rigid heddle loom was warped and colours placed as per the planning notes.

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine Swatch at 10epi-9.jpeg
Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine Swatch at 10epi-8.jpeg


3cm of ground weave was woven with leftover Cotton Fine to help evenly space and tension the warp.


Weaving began using the first colour in the sequence,.

Once the fabric was established, a row of hem-stitch was used to secure warp and weft at the beginning of the piece. 

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine Swatch at 10epi-4.jpg


Weaving continued, changing colours as required until each colour section was completed. 

Once complete, a row of hem-stitch was used to secure warp and weft before cutting the piece from the loom. 

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine Swatch at 10epi-5.jpg


The sample was finished by undergoing a full wash cycle in a washing machine and dried in a tumble dryer using a regular heat setting.

This treatment contradicts the recommended care instructions for Cotton Fine, but we thought this experiment was warranted to help set the weave and allow the fibres to bloom.



The resulting fabric has a great lightness and after finishing is quite soft to the touch. 

At this sett, the fabric feels smooth and has excellent drape. 

Though it’s not a firm weave, the fabric feels like it would be somewhat hard-wearing and have some longevity when used in pieces that will see some wear-and-tear. 


The effect of the bold colour blocking produces a homey fabric and in the chosen colour palette has a somewhat vintage feel. 

Working with three colours allows for endless permutations that can be used to influence the look and feel of the fabric.


From our results we think the fabric would be best suited to household napery and table linens.

The drape suggests that with a bit of fine tuning there is scope to work the fabric into garments, maybe simple summer tees and tunics. 

We would like to experiment next by working the yarn up at a finer gauge with the aim of creating a denser fabric that could be used for towelling applications in the home – washcloths, tea towels, etc.

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine Swatch at 10epi-15.jpg

Thank you for reading!

To learn more about Cotton Fine please click HERE.


Let’s Get Started…


Introducing Cotton Fine by Brown Sheep Co.

Introducing Cotton Fine

By Brown Sheep Co.

We’re proud to introduce the latest line-up in the Loom & Spindle Yarn + Fibre range - Cotton Fine by Brown Sheep Co..

This sumptuous blend of pima cotton and merino wool delivers a light and resilient yarn ideal for summer wardrobe staples and textiles for the home.

The long stapled pima cotton guarantees pieces will be smooth and soft to the touch, while offering resistance to pilling, wrinkling and fading. 

The addition of merino wool adds strength and memory, ensuring your projects will have longevity to be enjoyed for years to come.

In a palette of 12 wearable hues, Cotton Fine will suit a range of hand worked garments and textile pieces. 

Colourways Available

The Yarn

FIBRE CONTENT: 80% Pima Cotton, 20% Merino Wool
NET WEIGHT: 50g (1.75oz) 
APPROX. YARDAGE: 196m (215yd)
CONSTRUCTION: 12 ply, light twist
CARE: Cold hand wash (see notes below)


The gauge information given below are suggestions to provide guidance when planning your projects. We always recommend that you swatch prior to starting to determine a configuration that results in the ideal fabric and hand feel for your project.


26 stitches over 10cm, using 2.75mm needles (6 ½ stitches per inch, US size 2 needles).


21 - 32 stitches over 10cm, using 2.25 - 3.5mm hook (5 – 8 stitches per inch, US size B-1 to E-4 hook).

WEAVING For Yardage

10 epi (40 ends / 10cm) – For fabrics with drape and a light hand feel.
12 epi (50 ends / 10cm) – For hard wearing fabrics that require a tight, firm weave.

Two samples in cotton fine.

Two samples in cotton fine.


For hand knit and crochet projects we recommend that you follow the washing instructions provided by Brown Sheep Co. (see notes below). 

Weaving projects may require a more vigorous finishing technique to full the fabric. For sturdy plain weave fabrics we suggest a machine wash and tumble dry. For delicate weaves, we suggest a cool hand wash with or without agitation.

Notes from Brown Sheep CO.

Brown Sheep Co. recommends hand washing Cotton Fine in cool water using a mild detergent or wool wash and 30ml of white vinegar. Then rinsing thoroughly, adding another 30ml of white vinegar to the last clear rinse. Roll gently in a towel to remove excess water, do not twist or wring. Lay flat to dry. Press with a cool iron if needed.

Brown Sheep advise that some migration of colour is normal and can be expected during the first wash of Cotton Fine. It is suggested that for projects consisting of two or more colours that they be swatched and test-washed before beginning.

About Brown Sheep

Brown Sheep Company, Inc. is a family owned and operated yarn spinning mill. They proudly support U.S. wool growers, manufacturing their yarns in the heart of the U.S.A. They’re determined to produce high quality yarns along with providing a livelihood for their hardworking employees. Brown Sheep yarns are dyed with 85% recycled water — read more about their sustainable water practices here.